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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Adriana Galvan, PhD, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 954 Gatewood Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329; Email: agalvan@emory.edu; Phone: 404-712-8841; Fax: 404-727-9294


Research Funding:

Supported by NIH grants R01NS062876, P50NS071669 and NIH/NCRR RR-00165 (Yerkes National Primate Research Center)


  • Centromedian
  • Parafascicular
  • set shifting
  • striatum
  • learning
  • cholinergic interneuron

The primate thalamostriatal systems: Anatomical organization, functional roles and possible involvement in Parkinson’s disease


Journal Title:

Basal Ganglia


Volume 1, Number 4


, Pages 179-189

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The striatum receives glutamatergic inputs from two main thalamostriatal systems that originate either from the centre median/parafascicular complex (CM/PF-striatal system) or the rostral intralaminar, midline, associative and relay thalamic nuclei (non-CM/PF-striatal system). These dual thalamostriatal systems display striking differences in their anatomical and, most likely, functional organization. The CM/PF-striatal system is topographically organized, and integrated within functionally segregated basal ganglia-thalamostriatal circuits that process sensorimotor, associative and limbic information. CM/PF neurons are highly responsive to attention-related sensory stimuli, suggesting that the CM/PF-striatal system, through its strong connections with cholinergic interneurons, may play a role in basal ganglia-mediated learning, behavioral switching and reinforcement. In light of evidence for prominent CM/PF neuronal loss in Parkinson’s disease, we propose that the significant CM-striatal system degeneration, combined with the severe nigrostriatal dopamine loss in sensorimotor striatal regions, may alter normal automatic actions, and shift the processing of basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor programs towards goal-directed behaviors.

Copyright information:

© 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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